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Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is an American combat medic stationed in Vietnam in 1971. His unit is attacked, and during the battle, some of the soldiers in his unit go into convulsions and seizures, and others freeze in a catatonic stupor. While trying to escape, Jacob is stabbed in the chest with a bayonet and falls to the jungle floor. Four years later, Singer works as a postman and lives in a tiny Brooklyn apartment with his girlfriend, Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena). One day, while returning home from work, Singer gets out at his subway stop and finds that the exits are blocked; as he crosses the tracks to try to get out on the other side, he's nearly struck by an incoming subway train. In addition to flashbacks of his near death in Vietnam, Singer begins to experience increasingly bizarre hallucinations. One of Singer's platoon mates, Paul, reaches out to him, and when they meet, Paul tells Jacob of the hallucinations that he too is experiencing; he suspects that the government is behind it. As Jacob digs deeper into finding out the truth, his reality grows increasingly disjointed and chaotic, as he tries to find out what exactly is happening to him.
“‘Jacob's Ladder’ enters into the hallucinations of a desperate mind, and lives there. It evokes a paranoid-schizophrenic state as effectively as any film I have ever seen. Despite an ending that is intended as victorious, the movie is a thoroughly painful and depressing experience - but, it must be said, one that has been powerfully written, directed and acted.”— Roger Ebert
Sun April 10, 2022, 2:00 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium
United States of America, 1990, in English, 113 min
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin, Director: Adrian Lyne, Cast: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven, Pruitt Taylor Vince